13w4d – 26w2d to go!

We went for the NT (nuchal translucency) scan today. This is the ultrasound that measures the nasal bone and nuchal fold to determine the risk of Down’s Syndrome and Trisomy 18 (Edward’s Syndrome). Everything so far has measured normal. The nuchal fold measured 1.25mm, which is well within the normal range, and the tech did not seem concerned at all about the nasal bone. She said everything looked good and healthy.

I have to tell you, though, this kid has already got a sense of humor and a fighting spirit. He (or she – I’ll just say “he” for the sake of simplicity) had worked himself into a very awkward position. Imagine standing on your neck….inverted, with your feet up against the wall. That was the position he had worked himself into for a good portion of the exam! The tech kept pushing on him with the camera, trying to work him into a proper position, and every time she pushed down to get him to move, he pushed back with his little hands! It was like he was saying, “Hey crazy lady, stop pushing on me!” It was so cute; I was dying trying to avoid laughing because he was just moving around like crazy, and I wanted him to calm down and get into a good position for the scan! Eventually, he worked his way flat again, and she jumped in and got the scan as quick as she could!

The tech also commented on how active he is. He was bouncing, squirming, shaking his fist, kicking his legs, even did a little backflip and switched positions (you’ll notice that he’s facing one way in one picture, and another in the other two!) He was ALL OVER the place. I’m growing a miniature athlete!

She also had trouble getting the nasal bone because he kept sticking his thumb in his mouth…which I thought was adorable.

It was just amazing to see that what was just a 2mm dot on my first ultrasound at five weeks is now person-shaped (and 7.48 centimeters!) and even has little hands…at one point he stretched his fingers out, and I saw a definite “hand” – he’s got long fingers! He still measures right on time – according to my due date, I should be 13 weeks, four days today, and sure enough, he measured 13 weeks, four days. So we are right on par for a May 29th due date.

The heartbeat was still good today. 158 beats per minute. Still sounds like a boy to me!

Speaking of that – we have said all along that we DO NOT want to know the sex of the baby, but the tech took a moment today to examine his legs and showed me where both of them were. He (or she!) would have been in a good position to see “it” but there was nothing to see yet. Not that I want to see it. But now I know the baby has two perfectly formed legs, and I can look away.

12w1d – 27w6d to go

Today’s appointment went well.

A couple of disappointing things from the appointment:

1. No ultrasound today! I was sure they were going to do one, and SO looking forward to it. But they didn’t.

2. Found out that my doctor’s office doesn’t deliver at Winnie Palmer…where I had hoped I would be delivering.

3. I had to have SIX VIALS OF BLOOD taken. I’m still a tad woozy. The nurse also said that the blood took a long time to come out, so it took about 15 minutes to get the six vials of blood.

4. My blood pressure was a little high. They took it twice just to be sure. It was 149/90 the first time, and then an hour later it was 139/88. (The first time I was upset because Mr Dad got lost and he kind of got snippy with me on the phone when I was trying to help him…so that probably contributed.) Either way, it’s a tad high, so it’s time to start working out more and eating better to get it to come down.

5. They lost my pap smear results from June, so I had to go through the unpleasant procedure of having it done again. (The nurse said I only had a pelvic exam with no pap, but I KNOW they did it for sure, 100% without a doubt.)

Good things this appointment:

1. They used the Doppler to hear the baby’s heartbeat. 150 bpm! If the old wives tale about gender and heart rate is correct (low for a boy, high for a girl), we’re looking at a boy! (HR at 12 weeks is between 140 and 170…150 puts it at the lower end)

2. The nurse practitioner (Diane) is very kind. If it weren’t for how wonderful everyone in this group is, I would consider switching so that I could deliver at Winnie Palmer…but you can’t beat getting excellent medical care.

3. I asked about natural childbirth because my sister mentioned that some doctors won’t work with you if you don’t get pain medication. Diane said they actually encourage it and that she had five babies without medication. So that was a checkmark in the positive column for me.

4. She told me to stop watching baby shows (more a plus for Mr Dad than me! haha) and that I don’t need to take the extra folic acid I have been…there’s enough in my prenatal. Yay for taking one less pill every night!

5. They deliver at Winter Park Hospital, which is 5 minutes from work (yay waiting til I go into labor to stop working!) and has facilities that are comparable to Winnie Palmer…so it’s not such a let down (Mr Dad will just have to sleep on a couch instead of a murphy bed…hehe)

6. They gave me a free baby calendar, which is nice because I messed up the one I bought back in September. 🙂

7. Diane directed me to her email address and said I can send her any questions by email, and she gets back to you quickly. (Apparently the doctors aren’t very good about following up via email, but she promised that she is).

Aside from all these pros/cons for today, I got a lot of information about tests and screenings. I have the NT scan scheduled for November 26 – that’s definitely another ultrasound, plus it will be the reassurance that I need that the baby is healthy and doesn’t have down’s syndrome or trisomy 18. Both are extremely rare for babies of moms my age, but still worth testing for in my opinion…especially since UHC picks up the bill! So, November 26, we will see a baby again!

The next appointment with my regular doctor will be on December 14…not sure what that one will entail (hopefully an ultrasound!) other than more screening tests (cystic fibrosis, AFP, blood type for RH status, and so on). Then at about 20 weeks, we’ll have the level 2 ultrasound, where I’ll have to avoid looking the whole time, so I don’t see what gender the baby is!

So, that’s the eager update for this week! I’m psyched about the NT scan…what a great post-Thanksgiving appointment!

10w5d – 30w1d to go!

Today I learned a valuable lesson.

When you’re pregnant, you get HUNGRY. During my non-pregnant days, I could get hungry and put it on hold until it was convenient for me to go eat. It DOES NOT WORK THIS WAY WHEN YOU’RE PREGNANT.

I got hungry for lunch around 12 today, but decided to put it off, get a head start on my afternoon work, and wait until Danielle (my work friend) was ready to go. At about 12:45 we were both ready, and we headed to Whole Foods to hit the soup/salad bar.

Mind you, I had a fairly substantial breakfast. I had a nice big bowl of Kashi Cinnamon Harvest cereal with a cup of milk, and some apple juice. I also drank a nice big glass of water with a slice of lemon (my new “thing” this week). By all rights, I had covered my bases – carbs, protein, maybe a little high on the sugar (apple juice) but it should have stuck with me for awhile (I ate breakfast at 10 am).

So we go to Whole Foods, and get our food – I got a salad, some arroz con pollo (it was cooked in curry and smelled AMAZING), a couple cajun potatoes, a half piece of turkey lasagna, a half cup of chicken soup, and a small baguette (it sounds like a lot, but the hot foods were really just a “taste” – I filled 3/4 of that box with salad!).

Then we pay, and get in the car and I get to feeling downright nauseous. Not to the point where I thought I’d puke (I would have hated doing that in Danielle’s truck!) but I just felt icky. When we got back to work, I cracked open the soup and unwrapped the baguette.

And that’s when I noticed that I COULDN’T hold my hands still. I guess I waited way too long to eat and my blood sugar PLUMMETED. I dipped the bread in the soup and it was just splattering everywhere because my hands were so shaky.

So, I took it slow, and thankfully that bread (and it’s yummy yummy carbs) brought my blood sugar back to a normal level.

Lesson learned here: PREGNANT LADIES MUST NOT WAIT TO EAT WHEN THEY FEEL HUNGRY.

Having said that – it’s time to cook dinner before I re-live this lunch experience all over again.

10w0d – 30 weeks to go!

The big news of today – we’re TEN weeks pregnant! Double digits AND 1/4 through this pregnancy.

I’m excited because this means that we’re closer to being out of the first trimester, and closer to being under 200 days (211 days left right now).

Everything has gone by the wayside the past week. I’ve been so exhausted that I have let a lot of things go. Haven’t answered emails, haven’t cleaned up the “nursery” (we moved some stuff around, which just made it messier). Haven’t been sleeping as much as I should, even though I am exhausted.

On the agenda for tomorrow: work, exercise, and then catch up on emails.

Next appointment: November 15. 9:15 am. Just over two weeks to go!

I also think I’m starting to get a teeny tiny “baby bump”. I’m a chunky lady in general, but something down there definitely feels bigger – but firm 🙂

Found out a few days ago that my friend Michelle is also pregnant, and maybe even a little bit ahead of me. She already has one (beautiful) daughter, so it will be nice to have someone to share the experience with who has already been there.

That’s really it – just wanted to get a few brief thoughts out. I’m tired so this really isn’t as articulate as I’d like.

8w1d – 31w6d to go

I feel like I’m getting off the hook easy. “They” say (in all my pregnancy books) that around week 8 is when you feel the worst. I’m now past the 8 week mark, and I feel BETTER than I have in weeks! I’m still fatigued and a little nauseous at times, but for the most part I feel like I’m through the worst of it. Maybe it’s because I was so sick during weeks 5 and 6 (and some of 7!) that now that the cold/pneumonia is over, I just don’t feel as horrible.

That said, last night I actually puked for the first time…at night, no less. I was feeling really tired and feeling a bit nauseated so I laid down with a book, a glass of water, and some gummi bears (my craving of choice for this week). I started coughing (the last lingering bit of the pneumonia) and I guess it just triggered the nausea and blammo. I bet if I hadn’t had a coughing fit I would have been fine, though.

I’m also still really scatterbrained. Not such a good thing when I am still fairly new at my job and I’m struggling to make a good impression. By 3pm, I am so tired that I can barely function anymore, so I scramble to get everything I can get done before then. My very nice co-worker Christine has had to remind me a few times about things I should remember (like, things I do EVERY DAY) and it’s embarrassing, but she’s a mom of two and just laughs and says “pregnancy brain!” so it makes it not as bad.

Another fun realization – as of yesterday, I’m officially TWO MONTHS pregnant! Wow! That’s 2/3 through the first trimester! Seven more months to go. That seems like such a long time but if it goes anything like the last two months have, it will FLY by – I’m kind of afraid of that! I want to remember and enjoy as much of this experience as I can, since I have waited so long for it!

7w1d – 32w, 6 days left!

I had my “second” ultrasound today! Boy oh boy, today’s was so much more fun than the last one!

Before I get into the results, let me tell you, it should be considered cruel and unusual punishment to make a pregnant lady drink 32 ounces of water and hold it for an hour and a half – and then push on her bladder with the ultrasound device! They make you do this to push the baby closer to the surface. I was so glad that after a few minutes, she told me that they weren’t going to be able to see the baby that way and that I needed to go to the bathroom so they could do an internal ultrasound! Oh my God, such relief!! I actually had to go twice after, once during the internal ultrasound because it got too full again and was making it hard to see the baby.

But now, on to the good stuff!

First and foremost – after much questioning of my due date (thanks to my history of irregular cycles) we got the due date confirmed. Guess what? I was right on! Baby is due May 29th!

Also – VERY exciting – not only did we get to see the heartbeat, we actually HEARD it…I had no idea you could at seven weeks! The tech showed us on the screen and then turned the doppler on…135 bpm! It was so exciting!

At my last ultrasound, they found a mass on one of my ovaries that was causing some concern. It was still there today, but the doctor gave me an explanation (finally!) It’s something called a corpus luteum – it’s a cyst that is supposed to be there during early pregnancy to help support the baby. So it’s a good thing, it’s a normal size, its supposed to be there, and will go away on it’s own when it’s no longer needed. VERY good news!

My only real worry now is that the doctor told me based on my weight, they don’t want me to gain anything at all (maybe 5-10 pounds max) so that’s going to be a challenge. But he said eat plenty of healthy stuff and exercise so I guess it’s possible.

The morning sickness and food aversions are in full effect, though. This morning I ate two bites of a Special K bar to try and quell the nausea before I couldn’t stand it anymore and almost gagged. Then, for lunch, I tried to eat the frozen meal I had brought (a Kashi frozen meal – Chicken Pasta Pomodoro, which I normally love!) and I choked on the first bite. It tasted AWFUL. Like when you lick the end of a nine volt battery awful.

But, all the food aversions and nausea are totally worth it to have this baby be healthy and strong! I joked with Scott – I told him the baby looks like him…haha! And then when I showed the pictures off at work, my co-worker Mat told me that the baby has my hair (though there is no way to tell!)…it’s so fun to imagine all these possibilities!

I promise, soon I will get the images scanned in! We got three new ones today so I am excited to show them off!

5w, 4d – 34w, 3d to go!

What a weekend it has been! For the first weekend in a long time, I literally did nothing. I haven’t gotten out of my pajamas since Friday night.

This isn’t because I’m lazy, though. It’s because I’ve been sick, and not the “good” pregnancy sick. I’m talking the “I-sat-in-too-many-doctors-waiting-rooms-and-picked-something-up” sick.

I started coming down with it on Thursday, after sitting in the LabCorp lobby for almost an hour waiting to get blood drawn for my second labs. My only problem is a really bad cough, and for a short time yesterday, I had a fever of about 101, but it only lasted a few hours and my temperature has been normal otherwise.

But oh, what a horrible thing to have a fever while pregnant. You’re already hot, sticky, and sweaty – add chills and body aches to that and it’s just all around miserable. Thank god for Tylenol and cold showers – they made my life tolerable yesterday.

But, I’m on the mend now, feeling 100% better than yesterday.

One thing that pregnancy has done to me is make me obsessive about every little thing, though. Every twinge, ache, muscle spasm, gas pain, I worry something is wrong. At four in the morning I was reading through my pregnancy books and searching on google, making sure that having a fever wasn’t going to hurt the baby (it won’t). Part of me was tempted to go down to the ER (in fact I was almost definitely going if the fever hadn’t broken by this morning). I am not a hypochondriac by any means – I’m cautious but not usually obsessive. Here’s to 18 more years of that. 🙂

Otherwise, I have had it pretty easy so far. I guess it’s still fairly early to be counting my blessings, but I’ve only felt sick once, and I haven’t had any emotional meltdowns (though to say that the waiting between my two blood tests was nerve wracking would be an understatement).

One thing I did learn the hard way this week was in terms of fast food. On Thursday, I had the appointment in the morning, then had to run from one job to the second job and work until 9:30 – but I had hardly had time to eat, thanks to the doctor’s appointment making me late for work. So I stopped at McDonalds and grabbed a happy meal – quick, but small enough that I wouldn’t stuff myself and feel sick.

Too bad THAT plan didn’t work! After eating salads and grilled chicken and healthy foods, the “evil” in the McDonalds food worked it’s magic on me in a way that I was totally unprepared for. By the time I got to my night job, I felt utterly wretched. I read up this later on (again, with the obsessiveness and paranoia!) and learned that a pregnant body gets rid of anything that it deems unhealthy as quickly as possible.

So that’s two things that are on my list of permanent food aversions – the first was tuna fish (which I can’t even LOOK at without feeling repulsed), and McDonalds.

And I’ll leave you all with this: Salad = Good, McD’s = Bad.

I’ll also get the first ultrasound picture posted as soon as I can. For now, here’s an adorable picture of my 9 month old nephew, Willy, that my sister just posted today.

5w, 2d – 34w, 5d to go!

Multiple home tests, blood tests, and now an ultrasound have confirmed – baby #1 is on the way!

Baby AJ is due around May 29, 2008!

My 48 hour repeat beta HCG results were in this morning – after much frustration and miscommunication between the two doctors I saw this week, it was good news! The HCG level more than doubled – a sign of a very healthy baby!

The doctor said it would still be too soon to see the baby on an ultrasound (Tuesday’s ultrasound at Winnie Palmer just showed a tiny gestational sac). The next ultrasound will be on October 11th (bumped up from the original date of 10/24), so I’ll have more excitement to share then! This is when we’ll get a more definite idea of a due date, but for now, I’m sticking with May 29th!